Kitty Ussher, Economic Secretary To The Treasury Welcomes Securities & Investment Institute /Islamic Finance Council Educational Initiative

09/07/08The Shariah promoting Kitty


“An excellent example of what the UK has to offer in terms of skills and professionalism”, is how Kitty Ussher, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, described an initiative set up between the Islamic Finance Council (IFC) and the Securities & Investment Institute (SII).

Ms Ussher was speaking at the World Islamic Banking Conference in London where she explained how London has become a global gateway for Islamic finance and how it could maintain its position.

Ms Ussher announced the project between the IFC and the SII as “an important development in driving up Islamic finance skills.” She said, “The scholar professional development programme is a ground-breaking initiative between the IFC and the SII to develop the financial skills of Sharia’a scholars from around the world by providing the opportunity for them to learn more about conventional finance. I’m pleased to hear that it is already receiving support from around the world.

“I know that Tariq Masoon Shaikh, the Chairman of the IFC and Ruth Martin, Managing Director of the SII, are here today, and I want to congratulate them on developing this new initiative. This just shows how industry and other organisations can work together to help the Islamic finance sector develop, both here in the UK and globally, and we in Government are delighted to support it.”

Ruth Martin, Managing Director, of SII, said “We are delighted that the IFC is united with SII to support this initiative, further enhancing the skills of those working in Islamic finance.”

The SII has become the leading financial services educational body in the area of Islamic finance. It first announced the development of its benchmark Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) in 2005. Last year the IFQ was sat by 285 candidates in 26 countries around the world. The SII is also working with financial services regulators throughout the Middle East including all the Gulf Corporation Council countries (GCC). Some of the projects SII is involved in include:

  • Working with the Egyptian Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to establish a training and competence regime for the Egyptian wholesale financial services sector
  • SII is working with the United Arab Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) to recognise a joint commitment to promote high standards of competence and integrity within the UAE securities and investment industry and establish a mandatory qualifications and licensing regime. SII, SCA’s UK strategic partner, has also developed and co-ordinated a bespoke graduate programme for the local emirati population, to train SCA employees to the highest international standards for regulators. This internal programme was implemented in both the UAE and London;
  • SII is working with the Central Bank of Lebanon which has mandated its investment professionals to complete the SII Certificate in Securities by the end of 2008;
  • SII has developed a Dubai Rules and Regulations examination for the financial services industry in the emirate of Dubai;
  • SII has an agreement in place with the Kuwait Gulf University for Science and Technology whereby they are accredited training providers for SII qualifications.
  • SII is developing a mandatory qualifications regime for Bahrain with the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance;
  • Has an agreement in place with the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance for the MENA region to actively promote and demonstrably improve good corporate governance practices in the UAE, GCC and the MENA region;
  • SII is working with Abu Dhabi University to establish an educational centre for training financial services professionals;
  • SII has developed a General Securities and Anti-Money Laundering qualification for the Capital Markets Authority of Saudi Arabia and is working with the Institute of Banking to deliver training in financial services to the industry there;
  • Qatar is offering training on the Islamic Finance Qualification with Qatar Financial Centre, with a test centre expected to open in 2008. SII is also working with the Qatar Financial Market Association to develop a regulatory paper;
  • SII is working with Oman Capital Markets Authority to offer benchmark financial qualifications locally to improve investor confidence as their industry grows.



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